Whether resulting from the educational fallout of the COVID-19 global pandemic or merely challenging the status quo, more schools are transitioning their grading practices away from traditional points and percentages and toward 21st century grading practices such as standards-based and proficiency-based grading. A Parents’ Guide to Grading and Reporting: Being Clear about What Matters assists parents and guardians in understanding what is involved in 21st century grading and how to become better partners with educators in efforts to understand students’ strengths and areas for improvement.
Matt Townsley is an assistant professor of educational leadership at the University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, IA) and was previously a K-12 district administrator. Dr. Townsley has firsthand experience implementing and leading lasting grading reform and has consulted with thousands of educators and parents across the globe on the topics of assessment and grading.
Chad Lang is an experienced educational leader, currently serving as the Assistant Superintendent of School Improvement and Human Resources in Glenwood, Iowa. With over two decades of experience, Dr. Lang has a proven track record of successfully piloting, implementing, directing, and instructing grading and assessment practices and reforms in K-12 schools.
FOREWORD BY KEN O’CONNOR
I have long believed that the primary challenge in implementing more responsible grading and reporting practices in schools isn't that teachers and students aren't ready for change. It's that schools have struggled to accurately explain the research and rationale for change to parents and policymakers. That's why this book is a game-changer. Written in approachable language and addressing the common concerns that stakeholders beyond schools hold about 21st century grading practices, Townsley and Lang have created a text that can be used with parents and policymakers to build support for the grading practices that our students deserve.
You don't know what you don't know. Matt and Chad have literally given parents the answer key to having tough conversations with their students, teachers, and other parents about what grading should and should not look like. The research will anchor you, but the stories take you to the car, couch, classroom, or district office or wherever your conversations take place with the confidence you will need to help understand the true meaning of what matters in school.
LEADERS! COMMUNITY MEMBERS! EDUCATORS! This book is a guide book for you and your community to understand standards based learning. The writers clearly explain the benefits of standards-based learning to parents in a way that is easy to understand with an emphasis on the why behind this type of reporting versus traditional grades. A quick read that could be given to any new family to your school and/or used as a "one book, one community" read over the summer. Many, many, practical examples of how standards-based learning might look in your community but written in a way that anyone can understand. AND if you are a leader or educator that is unsure of how standards-based learning can transform your classroom, this book is for YOU!
An essential guide for parents navigating the world of modern education, this book demystifies the transition from traditional to '21st century grading practices'. Townsley and Lang brilliantly blend research and practical scenarios to equip parents for meaningful conversations about their children's learning. I wholeheartedly recommend this book for anyone seeking clarity on the evolving world of K-12 grading and assessment.